Beware of fishing license scam
According to a release from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), there has been a recent effort on the Google website to promote “scam” fishing licenses in several states, including North Carolina.
Some of the sites charge double or triple the amount of the actual cost of a license, and are potentially set up to collect personal information from the user. While Google does have the power to remove the ads, they do not have authority over the websites themselves.
The NCWRC reminds potential purchasers that hunting or fishing licenses can only be purchased through local Wildlife Service Agents, such as sporting goods stores and marinas, online at www.ncwildlife.org, or by calling the Commission’s license department at 888-248-6834 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bluefish limit changing
According to a release from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), the creel limit for bluefish caught by recreational anglers decreased as of Feb. 1 in North Carolina coastal waters.
The creel limit dropped to three fish per person, per day for anglers fishing from the shore, piers, private vessels, or in any way other than with a for-hire operation. Recreational fishermen on for-hire vessels (charter boats, head boats, guide boats) can possess up to five bluefish per person, per day.
Previously the limit had been no more than 15 bluefish of any length per person and no more than 5 greater than 24 inches in total length. The current DMF proclamation makes no mention of a size limit.
The creel limit reduction complies with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Bluefish Fishery Management Plan. It is intended to reduce the coast-wide recreational harvest from Maine to Florida by 28.6% to prevent exceeding the 2020 recreational harvest limit.
Hunter Education courses
The N.C. Wildlife Commission’s Hunter Education Course, required of all newly licensed hunters, will be taught on Feb. 18, from 5:30 – 9 p.m. at Neuse Sport Shop on Hwy. 70E in Kinston. (There will be two additional days of instruction.)
It will also be offered on Feb. 22 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pitt County Cooperative Extension Office in Greenville. There is no charge for the course but preregistration is required. For more information or to sign up, go online to www.ncwildlife.com and click on the scrolling Hunter Education banner at the bottom of the home page.
Quail: through Feb. 29
Raccoon, Opossum, Rabbit, Grouse, Bobcat, Gray Squirrel: through Feb. 29
Nutria, Coyote; Feral Swine: no closed season
Commercial Hunting Preserves: through March 31
Wild Turkey: April 11 through May 9 (male birds only); Youth Season Apr. 4 – 10 (only youth under the age of 18)